Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA Patterns: Basic Structural Patterns – Part 3

The Workflodize and Edge Component Patterns

This article is based on the book SOA Patterns (http://www.manning.com/rotem) scheduled to print February 2009. This article is courtesy of Manning Publications (http://www.manning.com). The ebook is available and sold exclusively through Manning Publications.

Workflodize Pattern
For one of the projects I worked on, we had to build a sales support system for a mobile operator. It would probably not come as a surprise to you if I told you that the competition between mobile operators is very fierce. The result of this competition is that the operator's marketing departments burn the midnight oil trying to come up with new usage plans and bundles to increase their sales. You know, plans such as friends and family, PTT for closed groups, reduced rates for international calls, and bundles for 3.5G usage. For this particular operator, new usage plans were created several times a week. The billing system was based on Amdocs, and SAP systems took their time to be adjusted to new plans. However, since marketing campaigns were usually initiated by the marketing department regardless of the IT readiness, there was a burning need to be able to support new sales procedures ASAP.

Changing business needs is something that is common to many if not all businesses - it might not be in the same intensity as described earlier, but it is there. We need to find a way to enable our services to cope with these changing processes.

The Problem
How can we increase the service's adaptability to changing business processes?

The most obvious option is to just wait for the change requests, and develop the code and update the services every time there's a requirement change. This poses several problems. First, you need a full development cycle to make the change happen .Second, code changes means big portions of the system need to be retested - think of questions like "does the new change affect the plan we added yesterday?"; "What about the one we added last week that's similar?" etc. More development and testers immediately translates to longer time-to-market. For our example, it means that making the new plan operational will take a few weeks, which, in turn, means management would not very happy. Which means your job just went down a notch or two. This is clearly not the way to go.

A better approach would be to try to isolate the more stable parts of the application from the ones that constantly change. For our sample scenario the demographic data like getting the customer's name, address, etc., is probably the same regardless of the plan we want to sell. Nevertheless writing the choreography for the stable logic is still a daunting and error-prone task. Maybe we can do even better than that...

The Solution
Introduce a workflow engine within the service to handle the volatile and changing processes and orchestrate the stable logic

The Workflodize Pattern as depicted in Figure 9 is based on adding a Workflow Engine to the service to drive business processes. The Workflow engine hosts instances of a workflow. The nominal case is a workflow per request type; however, workflows can also be more complex to handle long-running processes and have several entry points, where requests or data arrives from an external service.

More Stories By Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz

For the past 10 years Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz has been an architecture and system designer of large distributed systems including C4ISR systems, IP customer care and billing systems, and BI engines. He has experience with a variety of technologies (.Net, J2EE, CORBA, COM+, X-Windows) on diverse platforms (Unix, Windows, Dos, AS/400). He currently works for Rafael as the Biometric line development manager.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...